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New crime analyst will make a difference at BPD

January 2, 2014
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

There is a new face at the Boardman Police Department who will have the task of compiling and comparing crime data.

Brenda Emch was hired at the department's new crime analyst and she is already getting used to sorting and searching crime reports in Boardman and the surrounding communities.

"Since around 2008 we have had a problem keeping statistics" said Boardman Police Chief Jack Nichols. "Brenda will be able to help our staff and our detectives in solving cases faster."

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Boardman Police Departmentás new crime analyst Brenda Emch is gearing up for a year of crime solving. She is the newest member of the department who has the task of compiling data on crimes in the area.

Emch is not new to crime statistics. She worked for the Federal Governments Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, where she dealt with gun dealers. She was hired by Boardman Police on Sept. 30 and has since been learning the ropes.

"This is a little new for me," Emch said.

Her new task involves going through daily police reports. Part of what she will be looking for is patterns. If one area is seeing a higher than normal amount of break-ins, Emch's statistics will warrant extra patrols in that area.

As she goes through reports, Emch will compile data to determine a significant activity report that will be shared with the patrolmen and detectives at the start of their shifts. Those reports will not only include Boardman, but neighboring communities as well.

"I'll be looking at Canfield, Poland, Beaver and all the neighboring police reports as well," Emch said.

According to Emch, sometimes a crime ring will involve multiple communities and by searching all that data, a pattern can be established. The data can go into Pennsylvania as well.

"Often a thief will steal something in our community and take it to a pawn shop in Pennsylvania," she said.

Another area Emch will be working in is the Crime Watch groups in Boardman, which she said she plans to improve in 2014. The block watch groups will send information and Emch will add that information to the statistics.

Once the partnerships with the block watch groups have been set up, Emch said the next step will be to devise a crime map. By using colored push pins, Emch said she will be able to see a "hot" area at a glance.

In just her first few months of getting adjusted, Emch has already found the top two concerns for Boardman Township.

"The big issues are drugs and shoplifting," she said.

Over the past few months, Emch has been working and training with police dispatchers. In addition, she will be handling fingerprinting and background checks. She said it is a community service the department offers and while it does have a fee behind it, it is not a big money maker.

Emch said she loves her new position and hopes to make a difference in solving crimes in Boardman.

"This is what I have always wanted to do," she said. "My big goal goal for 2014 is to implement everything and make a difference in the fight against crime."



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